Standoff between Éire Óg GAA club and Ovens residents over plans for new pitches

Several residents have appealed the recent decision of Cork County Council to grant planning permission to Éire Óg GAA club for the construction of two new grass pitches as well as the installation of two high-ball retention nets at the club’s grounds at Knockanemore, Ovens
Standoff between Éire Óg GAA club and Ovens residents over plans for new pitches

Residents claim the proposed development will interfere with an established right of way as well as having an adverse impact on the use, enjoyment and residential amenities of their homes. File picture: Inpho/James Crombie

A planning row has broken out between a GAA club and some local residents in Ovens over plans for new pitches at its grounds.

Several residents have appealed the recent decision of Cork County Council to grant planning permission to Éire Óg GAA club for the construction of two new grass pitches as well as the installation of two high-ball retention nets at the club’s grounds at Knockanemore, Ovens.

Several residents including families living in Ashley Gardens claim the council’s decision was flawed as it was based on incorrect and inadequate information.

They claim the proposed development will interfere with an established right of way as well as having an adverse impact on the use, enjoyment and residential amenities of their homes.

The families also maintain the new facilities will result in a reduction in the value of their properties.

A consultant for the residents said they had always supported the endeavours of Éire Óg GAA club and were “most disappointed” that their concerns were not being addressed.

However, they expressed confidence the club could still devise a solution that would represent “a planning gain for all involved.” 

They claim their expectations and requests of the club are all “very reasonable” and such changes could be easily accommodated in the design of the proposed development.

The residents have also expressed anger about the club’s plans to use more of the grounds for parking.

Inconvenience from overspill of parking

They said they had already been exposed to much inconvenience from the overspill of parking near the grounds and the likely increased traffic generated by the additional facilities would result in even greater inconvenience and disruption.

However, Éire Óg claimed the new grass pitches would not generate any additional traffic as they were designed to cater for the club’s existing juvenile players and to provide a designated area for the younger teams.

It said the pitches were not standard GAA size as the intention was to break them up into smaller zones, with smaller goals and temporary sidelines.

The club maintains it was advised when buying three acres of land in 2020 that there were no legal rights of way registered for the subject area.

Plans for the new facilities have also been supported by local Fine Gael councillor Eileen Lynch.

Cork County Council concluded that the proposed development would not seriously injure the amenities of the area and would not be prejudicial to public health, although council planners expressed concern about the proximity of one of the pitches to local residences because of the potential for noise and nuisance.

A ruling in the case by An Bord Pleanála is due by mid-March 2022.

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